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For an overview of Vertibirds in the Fallout series, see Vertibird.
 
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The XVB02, more commonly known as the Vertibird along with post-War models are "Vertical Take Off and Landing" (VTOL) aircraft designed for the United States Armed Forces in the years leading up to the Great War of 2077.

BackgroundEdit

The Vertibird, a tiltwing aircraft, was still in the prototype phase, when the Great War struck in 2077, preventing it from entering full military service which was scheduled for 2085.[1] As evidenced by the crashed Vertibird on the roof of the Museum of Freedom, an early prototype or version of the Vertibird seems to have been in use by the United States Armed Forces just prior to the Great War, though how widespread their use was is unknown. It appears the Commonwealth Coast Guard was also in possession of one before the war, as a destroyed Vertibird with Coast Guard insignia can be found at Coast Guard Pier. Additionally, one flies over Sanctuary Hills on the day of the Great War, ordering the evacuation to Vault 111 by megaphone.

The existence of pre-War military Vertibird units is further supported by the appearance of a prototype Vertibird with winterized camouflage during the Operation Anchorage simulation dropping U.S. troops before taking off again. However, whether any Vertibirds were ever used during the Alaskan reclamation is uncertain as General Constantine Chase was known to implement his own, fictional content within the simulation.[2]

Following the war, the trial aircraft that were already in the field were seized by Enclave members and loyalists and either transferred to their bases or secured in shelters. The Enclave began mass-producing the design in secret and the Vertibird became the general-purpose delivery vehicle of the Enclave's military forces. Capable of surgical insertions, extractions and close air support alike, the Vertibird is synonymous with the Enclave in general and representative of their power as a whole.

Between the events of Broken Steel and entering the Commonwealth in 2287, the Brotherhood has established a vast arsenal of Vertibirds, with the ability to manufacture more. The Vertibirds have been modified so that they can be docked on the Brotherhood airship, The Prydwen.

CharacteristicsEdit

The Vertibird has under gone a redesign/face-lift from its previous appearances. It is larger in appearance and has a transparent cockpit, sliding doors on the cabin, a pintle mounted minigun on the left hand side and folding wings and rotors. The Vertibird also has a docking hook along the top near the tail, that links with the docking hook/arm on the flight deck of the Prydwen. Different from previous models are the model's retractable landing gear, in a different configuration with one along the center line at the front of the aircraft and the other three in a tricycle layout at the rear of the fuselage.

Based on evidence from the Museum of Freedom, the Vertibird (at least in its early / pre-War versions) lacks shielding and is susceptible to an EMP. Its armarments consist of two frontfacing cannons and dual miniguns. The Vertibird's crew consists of two pilots, but can be piloted just as smoothly with only one. Based on the size of their deployment, it is possible this variant is a separate model than the VB-02.

The Vertibird's VTOL flight mechanics allow it to approach landing zones with the speed of a fixed-wing aircraft and transition into a hovering mode of flight, by tilting its rotors vertically upwards 90 degrees. Given this extreme amount of maneuverability, the VB-02 is regarded as a formidable force in the Fallout universe.

While the design of a Vertibird is convenient, its dual rotor-blades serve as a flight hazard, for if the aircraft were to suffer a single rotary malfunction at a substantial altitude, the VB-02's airframe and distribution of down-wash would cause the aircraft to fall on its side in a dramatic and likely fatal crash. In addition, the Fallout 4 version, due to its narrow landing gear footprint and high center of gravity, would easily topple to the side during landing.

Vertibirds lack the large armament package seen in Fallout 3 and are only armed with two fixed forward firing machine guns and a crew operated minigun mounted on the left hand side. When dropping the Sole Survivor off in an area inhabited with hostiles, the Vertibird will sometimes support the player by firing on the hostiles with its machine guns.

Vertibirds are easily destroyed by all ranged weapons, and can be targeted in V.A.T.S. When a Vertibird is airborne and takes enough damage, it starts spinning on its Y axis, similar to how helicopters spin when they lose their tail rotor, before crashing into the ground and exploding, similar to a mini nuke explosion. The Vertibird usually breaks up into four large pieces upon crashing, releasing small amounts of radiation for a short while. However, if the Vertibird takes an immense amount of damage - such as a direct hit with a two-shot fat man mirv or an upgraded explosive minigun - the Vertibird will slowly fall to ground and pass through it. Marking with a recon scope can show its progress under the terrain.

There is one known model used by the pre-War United States Armed Forces and Arthur Maxson's Brotherhood of Steel, a bulkier transport model with a glass cockpit, retractable side doors, collapsible wings, and two additional jet engines behind the main cabin.

Although the Brotherhood of Steel are the only faction to have a confirmed fleet of vertibirds in Fallout 4, the Gunners are also confirmed to own at least one. The Minutemen and the Railroad, may also come into possession of a single Vertibird.

LocationsEdit

The Vertibird appears in the opening sequence of the game, flying over Sanctuary Hills and landing next to the entrance of Vault 111. Later, several crashed and wrecked Vertibirds can be found throughout the Commonwealth. Nearby the wrecked Vertibirds, power armor can commonly appear.

Operational Vertibirds are seen after the quest Reunions when a Brotherhood of Steel force shows up with the Prydwen. Afterwards Brotherhood of Steel Vertibirds are seen flying, sometimes in pairs, throughout the Commonwealth deploying squads or firing on hostiles. After the quest Show No Mercy, the player gains the ability to call in a Brotherhood of Steel transport Vertibird by using a Vertibird signal grenade. The player also gains the ability to call a Vertibird after The Nuclear Option, when siding with the Railroad or alternatively after completing With Our Powers Combined for the Commonwealth Minutemen.

NotesEdit

Fallout 3Edit

  • If a Vertibird is destroyed immediately after the Enclave troops have disembarked, the explosion will kill them. If they are still aboard, they, along with any loot, will be destroyed. However, Enclave soldiers will appear about 1.5 seconds after the Vertibird lands. The Vertibird will then start to take off. If the Vertibird is destroyed during this narrow window, the soldiers on the ground may remain completely unscathed.
  • A Vertibird can hold up to 6 Enclave soldiers and two pilots, as can been seen in the cinematic Vertibird sequence at the end of Who Dares Wins.
  • While the transport model was the first Vertibird used by the Enclave, gunship variants can be found in the Anchorage Reclamation simulation and at the Museum of Technology.
  • All Vertibird models seen by 2277 are of the gunship variant.

Fallout: New VegasEdit

Fallout 4Edit

  • The Vertibird has received a significant facelift, with a sliding door and one door-mounted minigun on the left hand side. And also appear to have a sliding rail moving to one door to another, meaning the door minigun can be deployed on either side.
  • The appearance of multiple crashed pre-War Vertibirds and helipads suggest the Vertibird had become operational, at least in the the Commonwealth, just prior to the Great War.
  • When using the Vertibird to get to a location and you accidentally hit the land button, simply open up your Pip-Boy map just like you would once you boarded, click the location you wish to travel and the Vertibird will cancel the land, but after doing this you cannot use the land button again.
  • While you are still in flight, you can change your mind and travel to a different fast travel destination simply by opening your Pip-Boy, selecting a different fast travel target and clicking 'Yes' in the confirmation pop-up. The Vertibird will change its course and take you there.
  • During flight the Vertibird's wings keep changing position, despite there being no visible change in speed.
  • Brotherhood Vertibirds lack any Brotherhood insignia.
  • Vertibirds can fold up their wing and rotor assemblies when not in use to reduce the space they take up. This can be seen when one is docked onto The Prydwen.
  • Traveling by Vertibird is significantly faster than fast-traveling, even when factoring in the time for the aircraft to arrive. This can be beneficial for quests with deadlines.
  • Travel by Vertibird can add fast-travel locations to the Pip-Boy while en-route.
  • Oddly enough, despite the Vertibird being a highly metallic vehicle, it can be easily shot down by enemies such as raiders.
  • Vertibirds in-game display weird flight characteristics and physics, being able to rotate instantaneously when engaging targets, pitch and remain hovering in place at an angle and clipping through objects.
  • Wearing power armor while traveling aboard a vertibird can drain said armor's fusion cores quite quickly. Even though the player character is not visually moving, the vertibird is, however, and still counts towards the depletion of the fusion energy.
  • Upon the arrival of the Prydwen the vertibirds that are flying beside the Prydwen are unmanned.

Behind the scenesEdit

  • The name "Vertibird" is the trademark for a toy helicopter playset popular in the 70s.
  • Many design aspects of this aircraft in Fallout 2 appear to be inspired by the Dragonfly. For example, the six legged landing gear and twin bulges in the forward fuselage.
  • Both the design and designation VB-02 are inspired by the tilt-rotor Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey, as well as the tilt-wing LTV XC-142.

BugsEdit

  • pcIcon pc In Fallout 4, The wreckage from a destroyed Vertibird may continue to move long after it has crashed, sending (harmless) fuselage spinning over and over around the crash-site.[verified]
  • pcIcon pc xboxoneIcon xboxone In Fallout 4, boarding a signaled Vertibird that has landed in Boston Common Pond will cause you to remain irradiated, even after landing.[verified]
  • xboxoneIcon xboxone In Fallout 4, idling long enough inside the Vertibird to where the camera pans around the character in third person, then moving the camera after landing, may cause the player to become stuck inside, and the Vertibird will take off with the player unable to move. After a few moments, the player will fall out of the Vertibird.[verification overdue]
  • pcIcon pc In Fallout 4, killing the pilots of the Vertibird will not cause it to crash. Instead it will continue flying and engaging hostiles until its health is depleted. The same happens if one or more of its engines are destroyed. [verification overdue]
  • pcIcon pc xboxoneIcon xboxone In Fallout 4, When a vertibird runs out of health, it is supposed to spin wildly out of the air and crash into the ground. However, sometimes a glitch occurs where it gets staggered while this is happening, causing the vertibird to become 'zombified.' It will hover in the air and slowly drift towards the ground, sometimes even sinking into it rather than exploding like it should. [verified]
  • pcIcon pc In Fallout 4, the Vertibird can suffer from Wounding Legendary weapon effect (bleed). With enough sequential hits and using an enough powerful weapon, like Pickman's Blade, the Vertibird's life can be seen diminishing from bleeding through V.A.T.S. [verification needed]

GalleryEdit

Game imagesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Museum of Technology
  2. Outcast outpost terminal entries